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“Home is where you have peace of mind, enjoy simple joys with your family, sleep tight at night and wake up to face the new day ahead.” That’s how an Acehnese survivor of the Indian Ocean tsunami sums up the importance of shelter.

In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, shelter is critical for survival. It provides security and personal safety, protection from the climate and enhanced resistance to ill health and disease. Shelter is also vital for human dignity and to sustain family and community life as far as possible under difficult circumstances.

Our cover story discusses some of the key developments in shelter over recent years and shows how National Societies continue to care for people left homeless by disaster or conflict.

As we finalize this issue of Red Cross Red Crescent magazine, shelter will be very much on the minds of millions of people in China and Myanmar who have lost their homes in recent disasters. It will be months or even years before they have a secure roof over their heads again. In spite of some extremely difficult circumstances, staff and volunteers from their National Societies will be working alongside colleagues from the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to rebuild homes and lives.

Jean-François Berger
ICRC editor

Rosemarie North
International Federation editor

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